Tombstone, Arizona Wild West Town


CLAIM TO FAME – The “town too tough to die” was founded in 1877 by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who had been assured he would find nothing in the Apache-infested desert except his own tombstone.

What he found was the first of some $37 million worth of silver. Today, however, Tombstone is known worldwide for what happened in just 30 seconds on Oct. 26, 1881 — the gunfight in the O.K. Corral that pitted Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers against the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan) and “Doc” Holliday.

LOCATION – 80 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona

ACTIVITIES – Absorb history at the 1882 Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Marvel at the Bird Cage Theatre, a drinking-gambling-prostitution emporium that opened on Christmas Day 1881, and stayed open 24/7 for eight years. Read up on western history at the offices of the Epitaph newspaper. And, of course, watch any number of daily re-enactments of the West’s most famous shootout.

BELLY UP  – At the Crystal Palace Saloon (436 E. Allen St.) and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon (421 E. Allen St.), named after Doc Holliday’s girlfriend, where the Clantons and McLaurys stayed the night before the gunfight.

BED DOWN – In period bed-and-breakfasts such as Marie’s, a 1906 adobe ($73-139, 101 N. Fourth St., 520-457- 3831,  and the Tombstone Bordello BandB ($79-99, 101 W. Allen St., 520-457-2394). Opened just last year is Virgil’s Corner B-and-B, a re-creation of Virgil Earp’s house on the exact site ($120, 92 E. Fremont St., 520-548-1025,

MORE INFOTombstone Chamber of Commerce, 520-457-9317.